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The Fraser of Allander Institute awarded grant to examine changing patterns of working hours

View of John Anderson Campus from the north

The Fraser of Allander Institute together with the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) at the University of Strathclyde have been awarded funding to examine changing patterns of working hours and implications for poverty and inequality.

The policy-orientated economics research group and SCER were awarded a £68,000 grant from the Standard Life Foundation for the one year project.

During the past two decades there have been substantial changes in the patterns of hours worked in the UK. But the trends have played out very differently across different groups and job-types in the labour market.

Falls in hours worked have been much more pronounced in some job types than in others, and the trends also differ substantially between men and women and by level of education. At the same time, rising underemployment and also a desire to work longer hours has been particularly concentrated in certain occupations and industries.

Inequality and poverty

These trends have major implications for inequality and poverty, but relatively little is known about what drives them and the study aims to better understand this, as well as examine how it affects poverty and inequality, and how policy might be able to respond.

Seven other organisations shared in the total £728,000 award from the independent charitable foundation for work on issues which tackle financial problems and improve living standards, including the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

It received £133,000 for a two-year research project to build consensus and support for government-backed emergency assistance schemes though the provision of grants and affordable credit to reduce reliance on food banks and high cost lenders.

Demos, a cross-party think tank, the domestic violence charity Refuge and the Fabian Society, a left-leaning think tank, were also among the other recipients.

Mubin Haq, Chief Executive of Standard Life Foundation, said: “We are excited to be commencing a further eight new partnerships with some vital and highly effective organisations. Covering a range of issues which affect people on low-to-middle incomes, from problem debt to reducing pay gaps, these projects aim to make real improvements to the lives of people who are struggling to make ends meet.”

The Foundation expects to make a further £2 million in grants in 2020.